Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tyranny of positive thinking. Why deny our SOUR parts in life?

What's my point? There is too much positive thinking these days with the wrong motivation. We are trapped in it and are hardly able to see anymore that we deny reality, submit cheerfully to misfortune and blame only ourselves for our fate. We deny our sour parts.

From my point of view 'homo sapiens' life consists (non-limited list): tears, fears, love, jealousy, anger, aggression, hunger for power, horror, happiness, satisfaction, peace, outrage and bad luck. Our life is sweet AND sour. These days it seems we don't want to see our sour emotions anymore. We deny them.

Strategies to overcome our sour parts:
  • Grow up! It seems we are kids when we have sour emotions.
  • Change point of view. It's not sour it's sweet too. "When life hands out lemons, squeeze out a smile."
  • Use another metaphor. Smile! You've got cancer. Cancer is not a problem or an illness. It's a gift.
  • Transition. You will become a better, bigger and real being out of it. It's a makeover opportunity.
  • Think positively. See the glass half full even when it lies shattered on the floor.

Intermezzo. Today no historical flashback from me. If you want to puzzle yourselves: the influence of manichaeism in  Christianity (look at the images) and reason as primary source since Age of Enlightenment.

What's next? I'm pleading for being a real human being, with his good and bad days, with his happy and unhappy days, with his fortune and misfortune. I'm pleading for the right to be unhappy. Huxley in his 'Brave New World': "But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."

Embrace the sweet AND sour parts in life. Don't deny! If you need an image or metaphor. Handle your emotions like 'After rain there will be sunshine AND after sunshine there will be rain'. Don't deny the rain!

Does this ring any bell for you? Or do you think I need a therapist or that I'm the next fool on the hill?

P.S. Ehrenreich tells in 'Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America And The World' (2010) that there is no scientific proof for healing from cancer by positive thinking.


  1. I really like your post. I strongly believe in self-growth and on working to have a happy and fulfilling life. But I totally agree with you when you say that our "sour parts" are necessary. I think that sometimes positive thinking maybe dangerous. A few weeks ago someone told me that I shouldn't react when a teacher humiliates a pupil because it's their own path. She told me that I should just send them love and positive vibes ! Shocking ! I am and will always be for balance. Positive thinking shouldn't prevent us for seeing, feeling and living.

  2. @Nadine You are right it's a matter of finding the right balance. But what is "right"? What I see is that for the biggest part all this has historical and cultural biases.